Nicole D'Ambrogi is a distinguished estate planning attorney in San Diego. Recognized as a Super Lawyers Rising Star, she has built a name for herself in estate planning and probate law and has garnered a reputation as a staunch advocate for veterans. A former member of the U.S. Navy, her practice focuses on comprehensive estate planning, estate administration, probate, conservatorships, guardianships, and asset protection services. Among numerous other honors, Nicole received the Women Resiliency Award from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs in 2015, the Trailblazer Award from the California Department of Veteran Affairs in 2016, and the California State Bar President's Pro Bono Award in 2015.
Nicole developed an interest in becoming a lawyer at a young age and stuck with her dream throughout her Navy service up until she entered law school. Looking back, she recalls the journey:
“I grew up wanting to be a lawyer. I made all the kids in the neighborhood play court, and I was always the judge. I had it in my mind at a young age, and I just never let go of the idea. I went into the Navy telling everybody that I was going to go to law school afterward. I would sit in my barracks room on Friday nights and do homework instead of going out with friends. I wanted to go to law school, and I would only get there with hard work and dedication.”
Nicole worked toward her bachelor’s degree in management during her time in the Navy. Once she completed her service and graduated from the University of Phoenix in 2010, she headed straight to Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego. While in law school, she volunteered at the Veterans Legal Assistance Clinic and was an integral part of the foundation of the Veterans Self-Help Legal Clinic, which provides pro bono legal services for low-income veterans in San Diego County.
Nicole founded her practice in May 2014 and has since developed a specialty in comprehensive estate planning strategies. Inspired by the mishandling of her grandmother’s estate, she is passionate about assisting clients in planning for long-term care and protecting their assets.
As an advocate for veterans, she has worked, notably, with populations of incarcerated female veterans, who often do not have a trustworthy advocate to help them navigate the penal system, and who Nicole takes pride in supporting as they build new lives.
Today, San Diego Legacy Law serves clients throughout San Diego, La Jolla, Del Mar, Carlsbad, Rancho Santa Fe, Oceanside, Poway, Escondido, San Marcos, Fallbrook, and the surrounding areas.
After a successful start to her career, Nicole went back to school to earn her masters of law in International Taxation, Wealth Management, and Financial Services. This allowed her to expand her practice to include fundamental estate planning, minor children, elder law, veterans benefits, estate tax planning, probate & estate administration, business succession, asset protection, charitable planning, Medi-Cal crisis planning, special needs planning, civil litigation planning, and civil rights defense.
Outside of serving her wealth management clients, Nicole prioritizes community involvement through local charitable organizations and veteran associations. She is an adjunct professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and supervising attorney for the Thomas Jefferson School of Law's Veterans Legal Assistance Clinic. She also frequently posts to her blog, where she shares her expertise in the field and sheds light on current trends.
Moving ahead, Nicole looks forward to continuing her work in estate planning and veterans benefits, providing clients with the highest quality legal representation possible. She is driven by her ability to improve the quality of her clients’ lives.
Education & Certifications
- California State Bar #295028
- Arizona State Bar #037648
- Oregon State Bar #230067
- LL.M, International Taxation, Financial Services, and Wealth Management, Magna Cum Laude (2016) – Thomas Jefferson School of Law
- Juris Doctor (2013) – Thomas Jefferson School of Law
- Bachelor of Science in Management (2010) – University of Phoenix
- FINRA Series 7 and NASAA Series 66 Life and Health Insurance License, California Department of Insurance
- Chartered Trust and Estate Planner (CTEP)
- Chartered Wealth Manager (CWM) – GAFM Global Academy of Finance & Management, International Board of Standards
Awards & Honors
- Rising Star, Super Lawyers (2016-2023)
- Women of Influence in Law Honoree, San Diego Business Journal (2023)
- 40 Under 40, SD Metro Magazine (2023)
- Adjunct Professor of the Year, Thomas Jefferson School of Law (2020)
- Alumna of the Year, Thomas Jefferson School of Law (2019)
- Women Resiliency Award, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (2015)
- Trailblazer Award, California Department of Veteran Affairs (2016)
- President Pro Bono Service Award, California State Bar (2015)
- San Diego Military Hero Award, Channel 10 and Coleman University (2014)
- Powerhouse Patriot Award (2014)
- VIP Women of the Year, National Association of Professional Women
- Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges (2013)
- Veterans Clinic Alumni Scholarship (2012)
- Superb 10.0 Avvo Rating, Top Attorney in Estate Planning
- Veteran of the Year, American Combat Veterans of War (2014)
Professional Memberships & Community Involvement
- San Diego Bar Association
- Veterans Bar Association
- Welsh Inn of Courts
- Enright Inn of Courts
- State Bar of California
- State Bar of Arizona
- State Bar of Oregon
- Veterans Legal Assistance Clinic
- Stand Down
- Senior Legal Clinic
Past Community Involvement
- The Women Veterans Engaging the Nation (WoVEN)
- The American History Theater
- Integrated Recovery Foundation
- San Diego SCRA Pro Bono
- Consumer Attorneys of San Diego
- American Combat Veteran of War
- Phi Alpha Delta
- National Association of Professional Women
- Master at Arms, United States Navy (2005 - 2010)